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  • ALIF 2 weeks ago leg still hurts

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    Old 11-07-2012, 06:46 PM   #1
    Guerrilla
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    ALIF 2 weeks ago leg still hurts

    2 weeks post op feel good, able to get around better, off morphine starting Friday moving on to lortab10 then hoping to start PT..

    Anyways history had right leg pain for 7 years got worse over the years eventually came to the surgery yadada..

    Question is I still have pain in my right leg how long until its GONE? that's why I got the surgery :-)

     
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    Old 11-07-2012, 10:29 PM   #2
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    Re: ALIF 2 weeks ago leg still hurts

    I had an ALIF in Decemberr 2011, leg pain was gone post-surgery until six weeks later. Then the pain came back worse than ever. Nerves heal very, very slowly, with improvement up to two years post-op. I just received an epidural yesterday, after being cleared by the spine surgeon to receive the epidural. The three epidurals pre-surgery helped for about 2 days each. Now that the mechanical reason for the pain is gone, the goal is for the epidural to resolve the chemical irritations. I feel better today, so I'm hoping this one "works."

    Keep walking, walking, walking, as often as possible without causing yourself pain. It helps to keep scar tissue off the nerves and helps with the constipation that pain meds can cause.

     
    Old 11-08-2012, 02:26 AM   #3
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    Re: ALIF 2 weeks ago leg still hurts

    HI Guerrilla, I recently posted you on another thread. Leg pain is also my big issue and my main concern. I'm worried cos it's the same as before surgery and unfortunately walking makes it worse so I have to keep my walks quite short but I do up to 10 of them a day (a few hundred yards at a time).

    I have been assured by my clinic that this is normal but will take sometime to resolve. I know it's a worry but just have to keep believing it will improve with time.
    I keep reminding myself that I'm still at an early stage (4 weeks post op today) and it will take months to improve. Guess we just have to be patient.
    cheers.

     
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    Old 11-08-2012, 06:11 AM   #4
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    Re: ALIF 2 weeks ago leg still hurts

    Sometimes it is just a matter of inflammation...not the kind you can see on the outside, but around the surgical site on the inside. Also, depending on how badly the nerve was compressed, sometimes it is necessary for the surgeon to tug on the nerve to free it up. This is an irritation to the nerve and it can cause even more pain until it settles back down.

    I would say that it is more common than not to still have leg pain for a good long time post fusion surgery.

    If it continues, the surgeon may prescribe a round of prednisone to try to get the inflammation down, or try an ESI or he'll just tell you this is all perfectly normal and that nerves heal very slowly....

    You don't have any choice but to be patient and to keep talking short frequent walks. This is extremely important. If you end up with scar tissue adhering to a nerve, you will be in even worse shape. You may want to see about a drug like gabapentin or Lyrica if the nerve pain continues past a month or two.

     
    Old 11-08-2012, 06:41 AM   #5
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    Re: ALIF 2 weeks ago leg still hurts

    how long is short walks? I over did it at first walking every 2 hours for 15 minutes.. I about died LoL.. give me an idea of how long and at what pace I should walk

     
    Old 11-08-2012, 10:47 AM   #6
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    Re: ALIF 2 weeks ago leg still hurts

    When I had my first surgery (PLIF at L4-L5) at two weeks I could only walk around the house. First, it was Jan in the frozen northland so I couldn't walk outside...second, I now realize I was over-medicated and almost a zombie...

    The whole point of walking at this early stage is to stretch out the spinal nerve so that scar tissue doesn't attach to it. This can be accomplished by doing laps around your house for about 5-10 minutes. The key is to doing it often -- maybe every 2 hours, or so.

    When you want to walk outside, be sure you are walking on a level surface without an incline....start out at what is comfortable for you...and walk that distance for a number of days...then increase by only one or two minutes.

    You want to walk often but you do not want to tire yourself or stretch out the sciatic nerve to the point that it causes it to flare.

    You can walk as slowly as you need to. This is not being done for aerobic exercise!! Some people have to walk with a walker for the first weeks, or even months...that's ok. They are still stretching out those spinal nerves. If you find that it is hurting to walk, try shortening your stride.

    You may find that the muscles in your buttocks are going to need a bit of time to make an adjustment to the new positioning of your back. The SI joints and the piriformis muscle often get sore at the beginning of recovery. This will go away after awhile....

    If you had your pre-surgery pain for awhile, chances are good that you were compensating for that pain by favoring one side of the body over the other. It is the body's natural defense to try to protect the injured part. (This is one reason we grow osteophytes when the spine begins to get a little unstable...the body instinctively puts down more bone in an attempt to stabilize the affected joint.) You probably have developed some muscle and soft tissue imbalances that will work themselves back to normal as you progress in your recovery.

     
    Old 11-08-2012, 11:36 AM   #7
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    Re: ALIF 2 weeks ago leg still hurts

    [QUOTE=teteri66;5085753]When I had my first surgery (PLIF at L4-L5) at two weeks I could only walk around the house. First, it was Jan in the frozen northland so I couldn't walk outside...second, I now realize I was over-medicated and almost a zombie...

    The whole point of walking at this early stage is to stretch out the spinal nerve so that scar tissue doesn't attach to it. This can be accomplished by doing laps around your house for about 5-10 minutes. The key is to doing it often -- maybe every 2 hours, or so.

    When you want to walk outside, be sure you are walking on a level surface without an incline....start out at what is comfortable for you...and walk that distance for a number of days...then increase by only one or two minutes.

    You want to walk often but you do not want to tire yourself or stretch out the sciatic nerve to the point that it causes it to flare.

    You can walk as slowly as you need to. This is not being done for aerobic exercise!! Some people have to walk with a walker for the first weeks, or even months...that's ok. They are still stretching out those spinal nerves. If you find that it is hurting to walk, try shortening your stride.

    You may find that the muscles in your buttocks are going to need a bit of time to make an adjustment to the new positioning of your back. The SI joints and the piriformis muscle often get sore at the beginning of recovery. This will go away after awhile....

    If you had your pre-surgery pain for awhile, chances are good that you were compensating for that pain by favoring one side of the body over the other. It is the body's natural defense to try to protect the injured part. (This is one reason we grow osteophytes when the spine begins to get a little unstable...the body instinctively puts down more bone in an attempt to stabilize the affected joint.) You probably have developed some muscle and soft tissue imbalances that will work themselves back to normal as you progress in your recovery.[/QUOTE]

    I'm 28 sounds like on this plan by 30 I'll be golden huh lol... no really thanks for the info!

     
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